AskDefine | Define phonetic

Dictionary Definition

phonetic adj
1 of or relating to speech sounds; "phonetic transcription" [syn: phonic]
2 of or relating to the scientific study of speech sounds; "phonetic analysis"

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /fəˈnɛtɪk/, /f@"nEtIk/
  • Hyphenation: pho·net·ic


  1. Relating to the sounds of spoken language.

Related terms


  1. In the context of "linguistics": In such logographic writing systems as the Chinese writing system, the portion of a character (if any) that provides an indication of its pronunciation; contrasted with radical.

Extensive Definition

Phonetics (from the Greek φωνή (phonê) "sound" or "voice") is the study of the physical sounds of human speech. It is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds (phones), and the processes of their physiological production, auditory reception, and neurophysiological perception.
Phonetics was studied as early as 2,500 years ago in ancient India, with account of the place and manner of articulation of consonants in his 5th century BC treatise on Sanskrit. The major Indic alphabets today order their consonants according to classification.

Types of phonetics

Phonetics has three main branches:

Phonetics and phonology

In contrast to phonetics, phonology is the study of language-specific systems and patterns of sound and gesture. While phonology is grounded in phonetics, it is a distinct area of linguistics, dealing with abstract but psychologically-real sound and gesture units (phonemes) and their variants (allophones), the distinctive properties (features) which form the basis of meaningful contrast between these units, and their classification into natural classes based on shared behavior and phonological processes. Phonetics deals with the physical properties of sounds themselves, not how they are meaningful. There are over a hundred phones recognized as basic by the International Phonetic Association (IPA) and transcribed by simple letters in their International Phonetic Alphabet.
Although "meaningful contrast" between phonemes forms the basis of other discussions of meaning, the subject of semantics does not enter into this level of linguistic analysis.


  • Abercrombie, D. (1967). Elements of General Phonetics. Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh.
  • Ashby, Michael & Maidment, John. (2005). Introducing Phonetic Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-80882-0 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-00496-9 (pbk).
  • Catford, J. C. (1977). Fundamental problems in phonetics. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-32520-X.
  • Clark, John; & Yallop, Colin. (1995). An introduction to phonetics and phonology (2nd ed.). Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-19452-5.
  • Gussenhoven, C & Broeders, A. (1997). English pronunciation for student teachers. Wolters-Noordhoff BV Groningen, the Netherlands. ISBN 90 01 16703 9
  • Hardcastle, William J.; & Laver, John (Eds.). (1997). The handbook of phonetic sciences. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0-631-18848-7.
  • Ladefoged, Peter. (1982). A course in phonetics (2nd ed.). London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
  • Ladefoged, Peter. (2003). Phonetic data analysis: An introduction to fieldwork and instrumental techniques. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-23269-9 (hbk); ISBN 0-631-23270-2 (pbk).
  • Ladefoged, Peter; & Maddieson, Ian. (1996). The sounds of the world's languages. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0-631-19814-8 (hbk); ISBN 0-631-19815-6 (pbk).
  • Maddieson, Ian. (1984). Patterns of sounds. Cambridge studies in speech science and communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Laver, J. (1994).Principles of Phonetics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Pike, Kenneth L. (1943). Phonetics: A critical analysis of phonetic theory and a technic for the practical description of sounds. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • Pisoni, David B.; & Remez, Robert E. (Eds.). (2004). The handbook of speech perception. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-22927-2.
  • Rogers, Henry. (2000). The Sounds of Language: An Introduction to Phonetics. Harlow, Essex: Pearson. ISBN 0-582-38182-7.
  • Stevens, Kenneth N. (1998). Acoustic phonetics. Current studies in linguistics (No. 30). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-19404-X.
phonetic in Aragonese: Fonetica
phonetic in Asturian: Fonética
phonetic in Bengali: ধ্বনিবিজ্ঞান
phonetic in Belarusian: Фанетыка
phonetic in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Фанэтыка
phonetic in Bosnian: Fonetika
phonetic in Breton: Fonetik
phonetic in Bulgarian: Фонетика
phonetic in Catalan: Fonètica
phonetic in Chuvash: Фонетика
phonetic in Czech: Fonetika
phonetic in Welsh: Seineg
phonetic in Danish: Fonetik
phonetic in German: Phonetik
phonetic in Estonian: Foneetika
phonetic in Modern Greek (1453-): Φωνητική
phonetic in Spanish: Fonética
phonetic in Esperanto: Fonetiko
phonetic in Basque: Fonetika
phonetic in Persian: آواشناسی
phonetic in French: Phonétique
phonetic in Manx: Fockreeaght
phonetic in Galician: Fonética
phonetic in Korean: 음성학
phonetic in Croatian: Fonetika
phonetic in Ido: Fonetiko
phonetic in Indonesian: Fonetik
phonetic in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Phonetica
phonetic in Icelandic: Hljóðfræði
phonetic in Italian: Fonetica
phonetic in Hebrew: פונטיקה
phonetic in Swahili (macrolanguage): Fonetiki
phonetic in Latvian: Fonētika
phonetic in Luxembourgish: Phonetik
phonetic in Lojban: voksnaske
phonetic in Hungarian: Fonetika
phonetic in Dutch: Fonetiek
phonetic in Japanese: 音声学
phonetic in Norwegian: Fonetikk
phonetic in Norwegian Nynorsk: Fonetikk
phonetic in Novial: Fonetike
phonetic in Polish: Fonetyka
phonetic in Portuguese: Fonética
phonetic in Romanian: Fonetică
phonetic in Russian: Фонетика
phonetic in Albanian: Fonetika
phonetic in Simple English: Phonetics
phonetic in Slovak: Fonetika
phonetic in Slovenian: Fonetika
phonetic in Serbian: Фонетика
phonetic in Serbo-Croatian: Fonetika
phonetic in Finnish: Fonetiikka
phonetic in Swedish: Fonetik
phonetic in Tamil: ஒலிப்பியல்
phonetic in Thai: สัทศาสตร์
phonetic in Turkish: Sesbilim
phonetic in Ukrainian: Фонетика
phonetic in Yiddish: פאנעטיק
phonetic in Chinese: 语音学

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1